Monday, September 3, 2012

Book Review + Cafe Chit Chat: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father By: Jessica Brody

"My father's face remains a blank page but he leans in closer to me-close enough that I can feel his breath on my forehead. The proximity is making my stomach flip so I take an instinctive step back. 'You'll do it,' he promises ominously. 'Or you'll lose everything'" (51)

Title: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father
Author: Jessica Brody
Amount of Pages: 335
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Geared Towards: Teens/Light Reads
From: Author (Hardback Copy)

Summary (From Front Flap):

Lexington Larrabee has never had to work a day in her life. After all, she's the heiress to the mutlibillion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they're not supposed to crash brand-new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Boulevard either.

Which is why, on Lexi's eighteenth birthday, her ever-absent tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. but if there's anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it's dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

In a hilarious "comedy of heiress" about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and, best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have fifty-two reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.

Wdebo's Review: I greatly enjoy reading stories in which heriesses/rich ungrateful people are taken down a notch and taught a lesson. That is the main reason why I decided to pick up this novel. I've never read any books by Jessica Brody before so I wasn't sure what to expect from her style and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

I liked the writing a lot. It was a lot of fun and was surprisingly easy to get into. Brody created a very convincing teenage voice which is not always an easy feat to manage. It was nice to see Lexi mature not only through actions but also her voice. In the novel, she also has to do "status updates" to her "babysitter," Luke, and I greatly enjoyed . They were funny and were another way to see her gradual maturity.

Now, on the subject of Luke. I really liked him and the inevitable connection/chemistry that formed between him and Lexi. Though I was not particularly found of the fact that their relationship at the end was pretty ambiguous seeing as how I like a defined love story in YA novels but it didn't bother me too much. I felt like it ended very well. Lexi, on the other hand, was an ok character. I did not connect with her as I would have liked with other protagonists. However, compared to other stories about rich, spoiled girls I surprisingly did not hate her at first sight. I harbored fairly indifferent feelings towards her. Which can be both a good and bad thing.

I was hoping that the stories would go into my depth about the jobs, but they didn't. At least they talked about them briefly in the status updates, but that was one of my main concerns about the book.

Cafe Cover Chat: The front cover is pretty good; however, all of the other random (Stock?) images on the flaps and back cover were pretty childish and not as good as the front cover. (B-)

All in all, this book is heaps of fun and for a big book it sure went by fast. Though it may not be the most insightful YA novel out there, it will definitely accompany you through a few enjoyable hours.

Grade: B+


And now for a little author interview with Jessica Brody. Jessica has written quite a few YA novels (7) as well as a couple of adult novels. She also happens to be the awesome founder of Free Book Friday.



Wdebo: Please describe yourself in three adjectives. 
Jessica Brody: Sensitive. Motivated. Tech-savvy.

W: Please describe a typical day. 
JB: Get up. Get dressed. Drive to coffee shop (because I can’t write at home!). Order same pastry and coffee as I do every single morning. Write 1500 words (usually takes me about 2-3 hours). Drive home. Gripe to husband about latest story crisis. Listen to husband suggest ideas about how to solve latest story crisis. Shoot down everything husband has to say because it’s stupid and he doesn’t understand anything! Wait two hours. Realize husband is actually quite brilliant and his solution fixes everything. Apologize to husband for being a difficult, moody writer (and praise him for his brilliance). Eat dinner. Watch TV. Sleep. Repeat. 

W: What is your favorite color? 
JB: Purple!

W: In the "About the Author" section of the novel, it says that you researched the book by doing minimum-wage jobs. What kinds of jobs did you do? How long did you do each job? what was your experience with different jobs? How did those experiences factor in with the novel itself? 
JB: I had many jobs growing up and my parents owned a restaurant for most of my teen and young adult years. I did every single job in that restaurant. So I guess you could say I’ve been researching this book for years! But one place that I’d never worked at was a fast food restaurant. My friend happened to own one in Denver so I asked if I could “under cover” for a day and train as an employee. I especially wanted to research this location because a few really important scenes take place there in the book and I wanted it to be as accurate as possible. Plus, I wanted to know what it would feel like to come into a new restaurant/job and have no idea what you were doing and have to learn it all on the job. I have to say I was very overwhelmed. The job wasn't as easy as I thought it would be! And I put some of that emotion into Lexi when she worked there.

W: What is something that you want your readers to get out of your novel? 
JB: First and foremost, I always want my readers to laugh. I write these contemporary stories to be a source of entertainment and fun. After that, if my readers walk away with a little insight about life, family, and love, then that’s a bonus!

W: Who is your favorite character in 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER? How about your favorite character out of all of your books? 
JB: I know it’s going to sound strange but I’m going to have to go with Horatio, the butler. He was one of those characters that I didn’t expect to be very significant and then ended up having a much bigger role than I anticipated. I know, he’s not the most fun character in the book but he was interesting to me as the author. He really does love Lexi but he’s also always the consummate professional. He’s constantly torn between fulfilling his duty to the family as an employee, and his duty to Lexi as kind of a father figure, and that made for a fun dynamic in his personality. It was entertaining for me to be able to hide his affection for her in little subtle actions that some people may miss.

W: I also heard that 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER has been optioned for film. Can you tell your readers the status on that? 
JB: Yes! It’s very exciting! The status is that it was optioned for film by a wonderful producer named Jane Startz whose credits include The Indian in the Cupboard, Ella Enchanted, The Babysitters Club Movie, and Tuck Everlasting (A bunch of really great book adaptations!) She’s chosen a writer to adapt the book into a screenplay and now she’s currently looking for a studio to attach to the film. Still a pretty long way to go but I’ve got my finger tightly crossed!

W: If you were stranded on an island what are five items you would want to bring?
1) A copy of “How to Survive on a Deserted Island.” (I’m sure that book must exist somewhere!)
2) My laptop (so I can write)
3) One of my dogs (to keep me company)
4) My collection of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER dvds. I will NEVER get sick of that show!
5) An airplane to get me off the island? Or is that cheating? Okay, I’ll go with my Magic Bullet so I can make yummy island smoothies.

W: Are you working on any projects right now? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
JB: Last year, I sold a sci-fi/suspense trilogy to my publisher and the first installment releases in March, 2013! The first book is called UNREMEMBERED and it’s about a sixteen-year-old girl who wakes up among the wreckage of a devastating plane crash. She’s the only survivor but she has no memories and identity. The only clue to her past is a mysterious boy who claims they were in love and that he helped her escape from a top secret science experiment. It’s kind of like a Bourne Identity for teens. I’m really excited about it because the genre is totally new to me and writing the first book was so much fun! Plus, it’s my first crack at writing a series so that presents a whole new set of fun challenges. The second book, which I’m currently writing now, is called UNFORGOTTEN and it will release in early 2014. 

W: Who are some of your favorite authors? 
JB: In no particular order:
1)   Sophie Kinsella
2)   Suzanne Collins
3)   Emily Giffin
4)   J.K. Rowling
5)   Alyson Noël
6)   Jennifer Bosworth

W: Do you have anything else you would like to add?
JB: Thank you SO much for featuring me and my book! I hope you and your readers enjoy the interview! XO – Jessica
W: Thank you for agreeing to do the interview! It was awesome to have you on TEBC~
Wdebo :)

I have not been paid for my review or interview of the author. 

1 comment:

  1. I've been intending to read this one - I think I thought it was a lot fluffier, at first, than I now do. It sounds fun, though. Thanks for reviewing it - and for the interview!


Comment! I want to hear what you have to say =D